Report says Canada needs to bolster plane certification, rely less on U.S. regulators

From Toronto City News – link to source story


OTTAWA — A new parliamentary report says Canada’s aircraft certification process needs retooling in the wake of two fatal crashes of Boeing 737 Max jetliners.

In a study released Wednesday, the House of Commons transport committee recommended Transport Canada conduct a full recertification for any flight system that tacks on a new or altered component — like the one involved in the fatally defective Max 8.

The 14 recommendations also say the department should consider incorporating pilots into aircraft certification and take a more skeptical approach to planes validated by the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration, pursuing further technical assessment even after a green light from the FAA.

Despite testimony from officials affirming the rigour of Canada’s validation process, the report says many witnesses suggested Transport Canada is “overly reliant” on the FAA and other foreign authorities, “raising concerns of ‘rubber stamping’” amid findings that some safety reviews were effectively outsourced to Boeing.

In January, Transport Canada approved the return of the 737 Max after its grounding in 2019 and months subsequently spent poring over changes to the plane, which contained critical flaws in its MCAS anti-stall system that could plunge it into a nosedive if a sensor failed.

The faulty system was implicated in the two Max 8 crashes in Ethiopia and Indonesia in October 2018 and March 2019 respectively, killing a total of 346 people on board, including 18 Canadians.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 9, 2021.

The Canadian Press